Mums for Lungs accuse Lambeth Council of not making cuts in car pollution a priority

A campaign group of mothers has criticised Lambeth Council for failing to prioritise health in their transport plan for one of London’s most polluted boroughs.

Lambeth Council, which concluded its consultation on a transport strategy earlier this week, is under fire from Mums for Lungs for failing to reduce pollution caused by cars.

The group was founded in Lambeth in April 2017 by mothers who realised pollution in the borough was getting worse and were worried about the fate of their children.

Mums for Lungs founder Jemima Hartshorn said: “Air pollution in Lambeth is making many people sick and children are affected the most.

“It is one of the most polluted boroughs in London and the majority of emissions come from road transport. Therefore, the strategy must be guided by the principle of health to outweigh other interests such as growth and efficiency.”

Diseases from air pollution include stunted lung growth, cancer and diabetes and statistics from the BBC have shown pollution in London is causing children to have stunted lung growth.

Only 42% of Lambeth residents have their own cars, meaning the majority of pollution is caused by people driving in and out of the borough.

Cabinet Member for Environment & Clean Air Claire Holland, said: “We are very clear in our transport strategy that our focus is around improving the accessibility of Lambeth’s transport network so everybody has the same access and opportunities, improving air quality and making the borough safer and more attractive to encourage walking and cycling.

“By working with residents, local groups, the Mayor of London and TfL, we are making big improvements throughout Lambeth so our residents can lead healthier and more active lives.”

Mums for Lungs admitted the strategy had some positive elements, but complained the actions suggested were not time-bound or ambitious in addressing the issues of congested traffic, slow buses and air pollution.

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